What is the variability in hafting and hafting modes within the MP and UP?

What is the variability in hafting and hafting modes within the MP and UP?

Research Goal

The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition, broadly situated between 60.000 to 30.000 years ago, is one of the most debated topics in prehistoric research on Palaeolithic Europe. In spite of significant interest from the research community, different problematic issues remain and we argue that many of the changes observed across the MP-UP transition can be revealed based on functional data. In order to understand this transition, sufficient attention also needs to be devoted to the regional and chronological variability of hafting within the MP and the UP.

Related Sites

Hohle Fels

The Hohle Fels is a cave in the Swabian Jura of Germany, that has yielded a number of important archaeological finds dating to the Upper Paleolithic. Artifacts found in the cave represent some of the earliest examples of prehistoric art and musical instruments ever discovered. The cave is just outside the town of Schelklingen in the state of Baden-Württemberg, near Ulm. In 2017 the site became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura”.

Abri Pataud

Abri Pataud, or the Pataud Shelter in English, is a prehistoric site found in the middle of the village Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil in Dordogne, Aquitaine, southwestern France. The site includes human remains, stone tools, and early cultural artifacts made during the Upper Paleolithic, between approximately 47,000 and 17,000 years ago.


The Early Upper Paleolithic in Belgium is known primarily from cave sites located in the Meuse Basin, rarely from open-air sites. Until the discovery of the Aurignacian workshop at Maisières-Canal, Aurignacian occupations were known only in caves, apart from isolated surface finds near Braine-le-Comte. The situation is similar for the Gravettian, with the addition of two in situ open-air sites. Most Belgian Paleolithic sites were first excavated in the nineteenth century, and thus lack precise stratigraphic and chronological data, not to mention limitations in the lithic and faunal assemblages due to excavation bias.

Miller, R. (2014). Maisieres-Canal: An Open-Air Aurignacian Workshop. Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, 4598-4612 (extract)


Taipale, N., Coppe, J., Touzé, O., & Rots, V. (2017). The weapon system behind the point: Early Gravettian hunting technologies at Maisières-Canal.

Taipale, N., & Rots, V. (2015). Stone tool hafting and use in the European Upper Palaeolithic: the first results of the analysis of Gravettian tools from Hohle Fels.


Research based on wear traces
Research based on residues
Research based on wear traces
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